I have 7 ducks that I pen up at night, but in the morning I let them out and they free range all day, till about 6 when they wonder back to their house for the evening. I have had them about about 2 months. This has been how I have been doing it. But I am wondering if they need food/water in there during the night. It makes a mess and attracts all kinds of bugs. They have full access to our little bayou/pond with all the food and water they could ever want during the day. As you can see in the pic, the water is VERY low, as we haven't had much rain lately. But they play in it all day. Thank you.
Do I have to put food/water in the coop at night?
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Beautiful group! Glad you bring them in at night, and I am a worrier - predators come out in the daytime, too… but so far so good for you.
Do they get regular feed during the day in addition to what they forage for themselves?
If they are adults, they should be able to go without food overnight.
As the water gets low, you want to be alert for signs of botulism - hot, dry weather can bring about more cases of that - it is also called limberneck, and it is caused by ducks getting into fetid water, dead plant or animal material. It can be deadly, so please be prepared to treat for it if necessary.
Ducks will often act drunk, losing control of their muscles. It can kill them. Here is a link to a couple of recipes to flush stuff out of their digestive tracts, and a slurry to absorb toxins.
Just so you'll have it - hope you never need it.
I was not aware of the botulism cases. All seems well for now, they tend to stay in the deeper water. But thank you for the heads up. I will read up on it.
I use a watering station to keep the bedding dry. It's a clean cat litter box with a cut-down side.
I put sawdust in the bottom to absorb splash. Works great.